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Beef Bourguignon 

click to enlarge Beef Bourguignon - BRIENNE BOORTZ
  • Brienne Boortz
  • Beef Bourguignon

Ingredients

10 lbs. of 2-inch beef stew meat

1 c. extra virgin olive oil

6 garlic gloves, crushed

6 fresh thyme sprigs

2 tbsp. coarse black pepper

6¾ c. of beef broth (¾ c. beef consommé with 6 c. of water)

6 bacon slices, cut in 1-inch strips

3 oz. tomato paste

¾ c. flour

5 c. dry red wine

1 whole orange peel

8 c. bottom or quartered mushrooms

6 c. baby carrots

4 c. pearl onions

Granulated sugar, as needed

Finely chopped parsley for garnish

Directions

The day before you plan to serve, in a large stainless steel bowl, mix together the beef cubes, ¾ cup olive oil, crushed garlic cloves, whole thyme sprigs (do not pull apart sprigs) and coarse pepper. Cover, label, date, and marinate overnight in the refrigerator.

Mix beef broth.

In a large pot over medium heat, cook bacon with ¼ cup olive oil until almost crisp. Remove bacon from the pot. Add beef in single layers. (Save the garlic and thyme from the marinade.) Fry all beef cubes in bacon fat until evenly browned on all sides, about 6 to 7 minutes for each batch. Tie all thyme sprigs together with a cooking string. Remove beef from the pot and set aside in a clean bowl.

Add tomato paste and flour to the pot and whip mixture to a thick, smooth, dark brown paste. Add beef broth and red wine and stir well with a whisk. Add browned beef cubes, bacon crisp, crushed garlic, thyme bunch and orange peel, and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour. Remove thyme bunch and orange peel. Add mushrooms and continue cooking for an additional 15 minutes. Add baby carrots and pearl onions and simmer an additional 15 minutes.

The sauce should be silky and smooth when done; the beef, tender while cutting with a fork. Serve each portion over 5 ounces of small (not long) pasta, English boiled potatoes or white rice. Add sugar to remove wine acidity if preferred.

Additional serving suggestions: Toast French bread slices in the toaster or oven. Rub each slice on one side with a cut clove of garlic. For each serving, spoon the stew over a slice of bread and sprinkle with parsley. Add peeled, cut parsnips with the carrots for an additional twist. Serves 15.

Aftertaste

Beef Bourguignon comes from a very old French recipe called the Daube Chaude à la Provençale. Originally, it was made with deer (chevreuil), wild boar (sanglier) or other large kills during the Middle Ages. The Daube Chaude ("hot stew") is also served cold as an appetizer in an aspic (inside a seasoned aspic jelly or surrounded with aspic cubes). The popularity of wines from Burgundy over the centuries has made this dish a French menu staple.

At La Baguette French Bistro, we add an orange peel, as done in my family for generations. We do not marinate the meat in red wine prior to cooking as recommended in many recipes, because we feel that cooking the meat in red wine takes away the other aromas included in our recipe. A good red wine, fresh thyme sprigs, orange peel and crushed garlic make our Beef Bourguignon an unforgettable experience.

— Submitted by La Baguette French Bistro owner Patrick Garnier

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